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The Netherlands – Holland Casino reports first year of profit in eight years

By - 9 April 2015

After seven consecutive years of losses, Holland Casino has turned a profit, ending 2014 with a profit of €12m.

The state-owned operator turned this around from a loss of €22.3m in 2013. Operating expenses continued to fall throughout 2014.

Gross Gaming Revenue also increased in 2014 by three per cent. The turnaround began in 2013 with an increased focus on reducing operating costs whilst increasing revenue. In 2013 the operator announced that it would have to reduce its workforce by 18 per cent. It also benefitted from reinvesting, modernising and innovating, all of which helped boost the number of visits to its 14 locations.

Growth has come mainly at the slot machines with revenues up seven per cent. Holland Casino revealed that it had invested heavily in its slot business replacing 1,200 slot machines, around 20 per cent of the total, in its estate. Table games also saw an increase, albeit a slight one, of just two per cent, a decent enough improvement as the hours of table play are still limited in the Netherlands. Holland Casino said the growth was a direct result of introducing a strategy focusing on customers, local entrepreneurship and a future-proof, slimmer and cheaper company.

It managed to reduce its costs by €14m during 2014. However as a result of the reorganisation, there was a special charge of €22.9m. The trend of innovation has continued into 2015 with the launch of a new Mega Millions jackpot and the soon to launch Netherlands live bingo.

The operator confirmed that its staff will benefit from the improved performance with its 2,963 employment force ready to divide a distribution of €7.8m.

A spokesman for Holland Casino said that the ‘performance-related pay’ the so called ‘13th month’ is the first perk it has been able to offer its staff since 2009.

In other news coming out of the Netherlands, the recently appointed State Secretary Klass Dijkhoff has confirmed that the country’s move towards online gambling regulation will not be derailed during his term. There had been growing concern that the bid to open up the online sector would be adversely affected by the impromptu and forced retirement of his predecessor who had been so instrumental in the push towards licensing and regulation.

As part of the whole liberalisation of the sector the Netherlands government has confirmed its intention to sell off 10 of the 14 casinos currently run by Holland Casino as a package. The other four will be sold off separately. Two new licences will also be up for grabs meaning the market will have 16 casinos owned by seven different operators.

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